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04-23-2017, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeroq View Post
I don't think there is any hope in bringing this forum back. It had it's run. Sad but true.
Perhaps. A lot has changed in how people search for information and interact over the last 5 years (and definitely a lot different than 10-15 years ago). Regardless if we were successful at turning TF around after my initial acquisitions, all forums have been going through a decline for years. A forum, as a platform, has been fighting a battle of its own.

If someone is looking for quick help, he/she is more likely to search Google for similar issues rather than spend time registering for an account on a forum in order to ask a question. So even if there was an option to login with an existing social account (Twitter or Facebook), they'd probably go for that, if it means less work to get to the desired result. Additionally, people have less time looking for answers in the first place. As such, they'd be less motivated to scroll through pages and pages of a conversation, looking for the best answer. Wouldn't it make more sense if the stronger, more accurate answer (as voted by other members and staff) was also available at the top of the discussion, giving its author the respect and the exposure in the process? These are just some of the ideas among many others that are adopted across the web.

I am not even talking about primitive user engagement features such as various reputation systems, award badges, ability to build a personal following for yourself or your company within the social network, involving each other into conversation with a simple @ call sign, having a convenient messaging experience that doesn't suck.

Most of these features are not found in the old school forum software packages anymore, unless possibly through third-party add-ons or plugins. But very few have them intuitively built in and taken advantage of. vBulletin has certainly missed many.

Once we open our mind to the possibility of life without vBulletin, suddenly few exciting options are possible.

I believe radical changes is the only chance we have now (it was what was probably needed as early as my acquisition days. A couple of members were calling for similar actions, but it was just too scary to do back then. There was still a belief that TF can make it in its traditional form). I have actually sent Village Genius the plan I have over the few back and forth emails. I'm curious to hear how he finds it, as some of the steps require some clever tech maneuvering, and if he thinks the plan has a shot at potentially be more effective than staying in our current form.

I'd rather keep it quiet for now, just due to the plan being too drastic. I can only share the central idea which shifts towards a quality-based membership environment that we know TF possess (or used to, anyway).